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I've got an idea..
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Been thinking about an idea for a business for a couple years now. I believe it could be a very good idea but am skeptical because of the IMMENSE start up fee it could require.
Well what is it?

Most people who start up business usually go to the bank for a loan and get it if they have a solid credit history and their business plan seems reasonable and well thought out. Or they go to family and friends, loan some money and hopefully pay it back if the business goes well.
Basically it's a wal-mart with a type of build the bear workshop theme.

It'll have ANY type of material, machine, software, ect. that you'd need to use to make anything you'd want.

A customer would walk in be asked what they'd like to make or build go over to that section and be charged for the time there.

You want a car go build it.
You want a PC build it.
You want a game make.
You want ect... build it here.
Like a library of 3-D printers that people pay to use? You are right, it has a very high start up price and won't really work too well. There are personalized small ones that people can buy for 10k, which isn't too insane. Secondly why would you not make it over the internet where people submit in CAD designs and you ship it to them? Thirdly you probably would need some designers since the average Joe does not know how to design their own shit. For small stuff like a whistle, the Chinese are cheaper. For bigger stuff people will go to other companies.

IDK man honestly, it's kinda stupid.
Why I haven't done it.
Seems just like a crazy idea I've always had and I never knew if it was truly a good idea or just stupid.

Oh. Yeah you're right, that would be a insane start up cost. And impractical as hell.

The thing about that idea is that it's super broad and you don't really have a target audience.

Most people who are into DIY projects will do it at their own homes, with their own tools. I wouldn't go to this store to build my own PC. I'd go to a local Microcenter, buy my parts, bring it home and just build it. It only requires maybe two different screwdrivers at best. If I went to your place, I'd have to pay for the parts at a higher price (so you could make a profit on those parts), pay for the time used, and for what? Maybe some employee helps me out?

Now what MIGHT work is maybe a facility that provides workshops and tools to crafters and people who like DIY projects but don't have the space for it at home. You can provide drills, saws, screws, hammers, etc, with tidy shelves and different spaces for different sized DIY projects. It would probably follow the model of storage units, but you'd provide the tools and they'd pay rent.

Of course there's already issues with this as well. You have to consider safety, like is anyone gonna bring in explosive materials? Are you going to have a security team watching what each person does to make sure they're not making bombs or something? Do saws automatically turn off if they're taken out of the workshop area?

Adding onto that, it's still appealing to a very niche audience. After all, anyone that's seriously into projects like these will likely already have the tools and space to do it at home. And anyone that's not really into such things would find they would have a easier time to just buy the thing they want to make.

I can see your idea OP, I just don't think it can work unless you strip it apart and think about who needs those services.
Well how you're describing it is basically how i envisioned it.

The customer would only pay for the time they used for whatever project thy'd work on.

Price would depend on what thing they wanted to build and hopefully the price of materials won't have to be charged as long as the price for the time is turning a profit.

Also thought about having "professionals" in the departments a.k.a. people who know what they're doing. the price for their time would be put with the total.
I like the idea OP. Crazy shit like this is what works sometimes. I agree a knowledgeable staff is a must and gonna be hard to come by cheap. Maybe specialize in just a few products something unisex and easy. Say picture frames and frame shop. Minimal tools and doesn't attract trash that is likely to pack off your shit. I like it don't give up yet
oh yes and lowes and home depot already try to portray themselves as experts and anyone who shops there realize they are far from it most of the time but they are doing very well just faking it.

Ahh, okay. You worded it strangely earlier which confused me.

What I'd do is focus on a particular field of crafting, like wood-crafting, leatherworking, electrical engineering, etc. You can't feasibly make a "Make Anything You Want" workshop.

Now, I don't know much about these fields so I couldn't give you a straight answer on how much those parts would cost, but I'm pretty sure you would have to charge them for parts, at the very least, major parts like wood and metal. You might be able to give them free screws and bolts, but even then that adds up.

And again, you're still dealing with a niche audience. If you can find a way to get people interested in these type of projects, you might have a chance. Oh and I still imagine the start up cost is still pretty high, tools are expensive and they will need to be replaced as time passes. Still, it could end up working if you find the right spot and get the right attention.
Yea I think the best way to start off would be to start in one field and branch off.

Thgough the beauty of this place would be that you could walk in there one day work on something and then the next day work on something completely different. It could join a mass amount of hobbyist into a place where all their idea's could come together and be discussed.

The customer would help this place grow not by just coming and giving money but by continually helping the place grow it's departments and expand its fields.
>customer would help this place grow not by just coming and giving money but by continually helping the place grow
Your idea is business minded. Keep this thought process and become a true Capitalist
You know its called a machine shop. You can rent space in one.
Guess that's why I'm majoring in business..
Or maybe that's what the courses are doing.
Hmm. possible partnership opportunities..?
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